Monday, June 08, 2009

"CANDLESTICKS" - STUDY


1) A candlestick is also a lamp stand/put on a lamp stand.

2) The two candlesticks of Revelation 11 = Body of Christ

3) The seven candlesticks = the seven churches (invisible) = the light bearers in the corporate (visible) church

4) The candlesticks are the believers

5) The flame represents the continual (daily). To remove it is to leave the church desolate. (Daniel 11:31 "And arms shall stand on his part, and they shall pollute the sanctuary of strength, and shall take away the daily, (continual) and they shall place the abomination that maketh desolate.")

See the word study on "The Daily Sacrifice" for more information regarding the continual/daily, aswell as "The Beast out of the Earth" article by Alfred J. Chompff.





Matthew 5:14
Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.

Mathew 5:15
Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.

Matthew 5:16
Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.





Revelation 2:5
Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.





Revelation 1:20
The mystery of the seven stars which thou sawest in my right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks. The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches: and the seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches.





Revelation 11:1
And there was given me a reed like unto a rod: and the angel stood, saying, Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein.

Revelation 11:2
But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty [and] two months.

Revelation 11:3
And I will give [power] unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred [and] threescore days, clothed in sackcloth.

Revelation 11:4
These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth.

Revelation 11:5
And if any man will hurt them, fire proceedeth out of their mouth, and devoureth their enemies: and if any man will hurt them, he must in this manner be killed.

Revelation 11:6
These have power to shut heaven, that it rain not in the days of their prophecy: and have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to smite the earth with all plagues, as often as they will.





1 Kings 7:49
And the candlesticks of pure gold, five on the right [side], and five on the left, before the oracle, with the flowers, and the lamps, and the tongs [of] gold,





2 Chronicles 4:7
And he made ten candlesticks of gold according to their form, and set [them] in the temple, five on the right hand, and five on the left.





Matthew 25:1
Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meat the bridegroom.

Matthew 25:2
And five of them were wise, and five [were] foolish.

Matthew 25:3
They that [were] foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them:

Matthew 25:4
But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps.

Matthew 25:5
While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept.

Matthew 25:6
And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him.

Matthew 25:7
Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps.

Matthew 25:8
And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out.

Matthew 25:9
But the wise answered, saying, [Not so]; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves.

Matthew 25:10
And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut.

Matthew 25:11
Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us.

Matthew 25:12
But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not.

Matthew 25:13
Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.

DEATH OF THE CHURCH


The Purpose of Parables in Judges (Matthew 13:11, Judges 17:6, Judges 18:1, Judges 19:1, Judges 19:21, Judges 19:25, Leviticus 18:22, Leviticus 20:13)

Let us first get an overview of parables in the Bible, and especially the parables in the Prophecy of Judges. The Lord Jesus told us exactly why He spoke in parables. He said in Matthew 13:11, “Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given.” In other words, the Lord spoke in parables to hide the truth from those who are not supposed to understand the Gospel, but God is going to reveal it to those whom He intend to save. And so, when we wish to understand how a holy and righteous God could tolerate the wickedness of Samson, but on the other hand God numbered Samson in Hebrews 11 among the heroes of faith, we realize that there must be many spiritual interpretations hidden in the life of Samson. Samson’s life ends in Judg 16. Right away, in the next chapter, we read this mysterious statement in Judges 17:6, “In those days there was no king in Israel, but every man did that which was right in his own eyes.” This phrase is partly repeated in Judges 18:1 and in Judges 19:1.

And what do we read when we come to the end of Judges 21?

We read there:

Judges 21:25
In those days there was no king in Israel: every man did that which was right in his own eyes.

With the words “There was no king in Israel” God plainly stated that the majority in Israel did not acknowledge God as their King. We already know that the people had no earthly king. This was not the time in history that the people elected an earthly king over them, like the heathen nations did. God did not have to repeat this four times, for we already knew this. But we did not know that the majority also rejected God as their King. We can see this clearly in chapter 17 in the story of Micah and the idol he made. We can see this also in chapter 18 where the tribe of Dan stole the idol of Micah and set it up as their image of God for hundreds of years, until their land was destroyed by the king of Assyria in 722 BC. We can see this again in Judges 19 where the tribe of Benjamin engaged in open homosexuality, even though God had expressly forbidden it in Leviticus 18:22 and Leviticus 20:13. And so, when God stated again at the end of Judges 21, “In those days there was no king in Israel,” God declared that the tribes who are called by His Name, the tribes whom He delivered out of Egypt, the tribes who represent the Old Testament people of God, the Old Testament congregation, have sunk so low that they do not consider God their King any more. As a result, “every man did that which was right in his own eyes.” This attitude towards God is going to be repeated by the New Testament church near the end of time. And so, throughout this prophecy of the Judges we can see many pictures of end time events. Also here in Judges 19 God is warning us of the apostacy of the New Testament church, and God explains to us that the sin of homosexuality will be one of the signs whereby we will know that the end is near. With this purpose in mind we should begin to turn to Genesis 19, which is a chapter that runs parallel to Judges 19.

Three Women in Genesis 19 (Genesis 19:15-17, Genesis 19:24-26)

Who do the women represent in Genesis 19?

Initially only Lot’s wife is considered, for Gen 19 must be separated into two stories. The first runs from Genesis 19:1-29, which deals with the rescue of Lot and his two daughters, which is a picture of the rapture on the last day. We read in Genesis 19:15-17,

Genesis 19:15
And when the morning arose, then the angels hastened Lot, saying, Arise, take thy wife, and thy two daughters, which are here; lest thou be consumed in the iniquity of the city.

Genesis 19:16
And while he lingered, the men laid hold upon his hand, and upon the hand of his wife, and upon the hand of his two daughters; the LORD being merciful unto him: and they brought him forth, and set him without the city.

Genesis 19:17
And it came to pass, when they had brought them forth abroad, that he said, Escape for thy life; look not behind thee, neither stay thou in all the plain; escape to the mountain, lest thou be consumed.

In other words, since Lot lingered the two visitors took him and his family by the hand and forcefully removed them out of their house, and deposited them outside the city on the ground, and told them to run to the mountains, and don’t look back. And then we read in Genesis 19:24-26,

Genesis 19:24
Then the LORD rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the LORD out of heaven;

Genesis 19:25
And he overthrew those cities, and all the plain, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and that which grew upon the ground.

Genesis 19:26
But his wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt. (or better: a statue of salt.)

She did not make it.

Who does Lot’s wife represent?

She represents scores of people who are faithfully going to church every Sunday, they attend Bible Studies every week, most of their friends are of the same religious persuasion, they are not unequally yoked with unbelievers, and in church service work they are doing the best they can.

Why then are they rejected?

They are rejected because God the Holy Spirit never applied the words of the Gospel to their soul. They have never been “born again.” They have never been “born from above.” They have never experienced the new birth in their soul. As a result God has never taken away her desire for material things. God has never replaced her desire for material things with the love for Christ and the desire to do those things that are pleasing in His sight because she loves Him. She was still unsaved. And so, when she turned back to have a last look at the things she loved most, God reminded her that she was not saved, and thus she had no right to partake in the rapture that came so beautifully and conveniently for those who have been saved. She did not become unsaved at the moment that she looked back. That is impossible. The Lord Jesus said in John 10:28-30,

John 10:28
And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.

John 10:29
My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.

John 10:30
I and the Father are One.

And so, we let the Scriptures speak for themselves. The reason why Lot’s wife was turned to a pillar of salt was not because she looked back, but she looked back because she was not saved. This was the real truth of the matter. God gave us a last warning to examine ourselves if we have been saved.

Let us now turn to the two daughters of Lot in the second part of Genesis 19, beginning in verse 30.

Death of the Church (Genesis 19:30-38, 2 Corinthians 6:14-16, Revelation 11:7, Revelation 13:7, Galatians 4:25)

Genesis 19:30
And Lot went up out of Zoar, and dwelt in the mountain, and his two daughters with him; for he feared to dwell in Zoar: and he dwelt in a cave, he and his two daughters.

Genesis 19:31
And the firstborn said unto the younger, Our father is old, and there is not a man in the earth to come in unto us after the manner of all the earth:

Genesis 19:32
Come, let us make our father drink wine, and we will lie with him, that we may preserve seed of our father.

Genesis 19:33
And they made their father drink wine that night: and the firstborn went in, and lay with her father; and he perceived not when she lay down, nor when she arose.

Genesis 19:34
And it came to pass on the morrow, that the firstborn said unto the younger, Behold, I lay yesternight with my father: let us make him drink wine this night also; and go thou in, and lie with him, that we may preserve seed of our father.

Genesis 19:35
And they made their father drink wine that night also: and the younger arose, and lay with him; and he perceived not when she lay down, nor when she arose.

Genesis 19:36
Thus were both the daughters of Lot with child by their father.

Genesis 19:37
And the firstborn bare a son, and called his name Moab: the same is the father of the Moabites unto this day. And the younger, she also bare a son, and called his name Benammi: the same is the father of the children of Ammon unto this day.

This too is a historical parable; but we should not consider this a continuation of the historical parable of the first half of Genesis 19, for after the rapture there is no more earthly history. In the earthly story the two daughters came up with a lame excuse to commit fornication. But God is not at all concerned about preserving the seed of their father Lot. These two daughters represent apostate churches near the end of time. What they are doing is not only physically reprehensible, but they are also spiritually committing abomination before God.

Let us now distance ourselves from the historical and from the moral implications of the act of incest that they are now committing.

What is the spiritual meaning of these two daughters making their father drunk?

We must realize that this is one of the aspects of Satan’s spiritual warfare. We are at war with Satan, and it is a war that is actually a battle for the mind. Satan wants us to believe that situational ethics can justify a sin now and then, as if preserving the seed would justify the act of fornication. But the real principle that Satan wants to break is the act of being unequally yoked with unbelievers. God speaks on this subject matter in 2 Corinthians 6:14-16, where we read,

2 Corinthians 6:14
Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?

2 Corinthians 6:15
And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?

2 Corinthians 6:16
And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.

God is very jealous of His people, and God wants us to be separated from those who worship another god. Look at the results of unequal marriages in the days of Noah, where the sons of God married with the daughters of man. It brought down the wrath of God upon all mankind with a flood. Look at the results of the daughters of Lot committing intercourse with the only righteous man around. The result was it produced two nations full of people who hated the nation of Israel, and not one in those two nations of people was there that was righteous, like Lot. And so, the spiritual warfare that Satan waged on the descendants of Lot was very effective. It produced offspring that was 100% unsaved.

Literally, the church that was east of the Jordan died. The Old Testament church of which Lot was the chief officer died, but the Old Testament church west of the Jordan, of which Abraham was the chief officer, remained alive and well. And this is a process that will be repeated again and again throughout the centuries. Many churches would be born and die, because Satan waged a successful spiritual war against them. But when we come to the last days of this earth’s existence there would be no faithful church in existence like that of Abraham to resist the wiles of the Devil. It is God’s plan that the number of people saved shall peter off, until the last of the elect will be saved, and then shall the end come. That is why we read in Revelation 11:7,

Revelation 11:7
And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them.

When the two witnesses shall have finished their testimony, which means when the church shall have finished the work that God has reserved for her, then antichrist shall make war against her and shall overcome her. This is what we need to see in these historical parables about the end time. Those who belong to the faithful church hall not be killed, but they shall be silenced, just like the word “killed” in verse 5 does not mean literally killed, but silenced. And that the church shall be silenced shall literally come to pass, for we read this again in Revelation 13:7. If you turn there for a moment, we will see in Revelation 13:7,

Revelation 13:7
And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.

In other words, this silencing of the Gospel shall be worldwide. Let us now return to the last two verses in Genesis 19. God says there in Genesis 19:37, “the same is the father of the Moabites unto this day.”

What is meant by that statement, “unto this day”?

It means that today there are people who fit the mold of the Moabites, haters of Israel, and God says that spiritually they are of the family of the firstborn daughter of Lot, just like in Galatians 4:25 the Jews who hold on to a gospel of works really belong to the family of Hagar. Likewise we read in Genesis 19:38, “the same is the father of the children of Ammon unto this day”.

It means that today there are people who fit the mold of the Ammonites, also haters of Israel, and God says that they spiritually belong to the family of the younger daughter of Lot. This rounds off our discussion of the three women in Genesis 19. We now return to the Prophecy of Judges 19, for the story in Judges 19 must in the spiritual sense run parallel to the story in Genesis 19. Historically the two stories diverge, but when we interpret it spiritually the two stories must harmonize.

Two Women in Judges 19 (Judges 19:22-25, Matthew 4:19)

The first time we meet both women is when the house of the old man is besieged by homosexuals.

Judges 19:22
Now as they were making their hearts merry, behold, the men of the city, certain sons of Belial, beset the house round about, and beat at the door, and spake to the master of the house, the old man, saying, Bring forth the man that came into thine house, that we may know him.

Judges 19:23
And the man, the master of the house, went out unto them, and said unto them, Nay, my brethren, nay, I pray you, do not so wickedly; seeing that this man is come into mine house, do not this folly.

Judges 19:24
Behold, here is my daughter a maiden, and his concubine; them I will bring out now, and humble ye them, and do with them what seemeth good unto you: but unto this man do not so vile a thing.

Judges 19:25
But the men would not hearken to him: so the man (the Levite) took his concubine, and brought her forth unto them; and they knew her, and abused her all the night until the morning: and when the day began to spring, they let her go.

Who does the Levite represent?

He represents the Lord Jesus Christ. It is Christ who loosed the concubine on the unsaved people of Gibeah.

Who does the concubine represent?

The concubine represents the unsaved portion of the church. The Lord asked her to follow Him, and following Jesus is synonymous with being a witness for Christ. The Lord Jesus said in Matthew 4:19, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” But since she represents the unsaved portion of the church, the task of being fishers of men proved to be too much for her, and she abandons this task. In other words, she dies, and the Gospel is being silenced. But notice also that the daughter of the old man is not sacrificed. God had mercy on her and she remains a virgin. This tells us that even in the deepest darkest hours of history there is still a remnant that remains saved. God will not abandon His elect. This is all that we find about the daughter of the old man, but it is sufficient to give us hope. Let us return now to the concubine.

Death of the Church (Judges 19:25-30, Revelation 17:3-6, Revelation 17:16-18, Revelation 19:1-4)

Judges 19:25
But the men would not hearken to him: so the man (the Levite) took his concubine, and brought her forth unto them; and they knew her, and abused her all the night until the morning: and when the day began to spring, they let her go.

Judges 19:26
Then came the woman in the dawning of the day, and fell down at the door of the man’s house where her lord was, till it was light.

Judges 19:27
And her lord rose up in the morning, and opened the doors of the house, and went out to go his way: and, behold, the woman his concubine was fallen down at the door of the house, and her hands were upon the threshold.

Judges 19:28
And he said unto her, Up, and let us be going. But none answered. Then the man took her up upon an ass, and the man rose up, and gat him unto his place.

Judges 19:29
And when he was come into his house, he took a knife, and laid hold on his concubine, and divided her, together with her bones, into twelve pieces, and sent her into all the coasts of Israel.

Judges 19:30
And it was so, that all that saw it said, There was no such deed done nor seen from the day that the children of Israel came up out of the land of Egypt unto this day: consider of it, take advice, and speak your minds.

Let us now explain the strange behavior of the Levite. The Levite, the Lord Jesus Christ saw that the church was dead. To draw attention to this horrific event He decided to let the whole world know the tragedy of the death of the church. In the spiritual sense we must move the scene to include the whole world.

In Revelation 17 the Lord introduces us to a woman, representing the apostate church, who has been reigning this earth for most of the New Testament time, but now near the end of time she is sitting upon a scarlet colored beast which resembles Satan. We read in Revelation 17:3-6,

Revelation 17:3
So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns.

Revelation 17:4
And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication:

Revelation 17:5
And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.

Revelation 17:6
And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus: and when I saw her, I wondered with great admiration.

The last five words in this passage should have been translated, “I marvelled with great marvel”.

Why did John marvel?

He had seen this woman before in Revelation 12 when she was still a faithful church, and when she was protected by God and she was brought on eagle’s wings into the wilderness, which refers to the wilderness of this world. And now John sees her in the same wilderness, but now she has changed, for now she has allied herself with Satan. God makes us see that near the end of time the church will become apostate to the extent that Satan will be in the pulpit. The church thinks that this ally with the beast with 7 heads and ten horns will be to her financial advantage. But the opposite is true.

Revelation 17:16
And the ten horns which thou sawest upon the beast, these shall hate the whore, and shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and burn her with fire.

Revelation 17:17
For God hath put in their hearts to fulfil his will, and to agree, and give their kingdom unto the beast, until the words of God shall be fulfilled.

Revelation 17:18
And the woman which thou sawest is that great city, which reigneth over the kings of the earth.

In other words, Revelation 11:7 tells us that the church as we know it will die, and Revelation 11:8 tells us that the empty shells which formerly housed the church will still be standing, and Revelation 17:16 tells us that even the empty shells will be done away, for Satan hates even the empty image of the former church of the Lord Jesus Christ and he will burn it with fire.

And so, what do we see here?

The woman, representing the church, will be destroyed shortly before the end of the world. But did we not see the same image at the end of Judges 19?

The concubine was not only killed, but her body was totally destroyed by having it cut in 12 pieces. But you might argue that in Judg 19 it was Christ who cut her into 12 pieces, whereas in Revelation 17:16 it was the ten horns which destroyed her body. Let us be fair: There is only one God. Satan is not an independent power. Satan can only do those things that God allows him to do. And thus, even if the ten horns would destroy her body, it is still God who is in charge of all this.

A Kingdom Divided (Judges 20:7-11, Judges 20:47-48, Leviticus 18:22, Leviticus 20:13, Romans 1:24-27)

In Judges 20:7 we see here that all the tribes of the children of Israel, except Benjamin, were gathered in Mizpah. Then the Levite told his story, and how his beloved concubine ended up in twelve pieces all throughout the twelve tribes of Israel. Then we read in:

Judges 20:7
Behold, ye are all children of Israel; give here your advice and counsel.

Judges 20:8
And all the people arose as one man, saying, We will not any of us go to his tent, neither will we any of us turn into his house.

Judges 20:9
But now this shall be the thing which we will do to Gibeah; we will go up by lot against it;

Judges 20:10
And we will take ten men of an hundred throughout all the tribes of Israel, and an hundred of a thousand, and a thousand out of ten thousand, to fetch victual for the people, that they may do, when they come to Gibeah of Benjamin, according to all the folly that they have wrought in Israel.

Judges 20:11
So all the men of Israel were gathered against the city, knit together as one man.

The tribe of Benjamin refused to bring their brethren from Gibeah to trial. And now an all out war was the result of the crime by the men of Gibeah. They were physically fighting a war, and more than 65,000 men were killed before the war was over.

What was going on?

It was the church destroying the church. It was a kingdom divided. This was certainly in favor of Satan.

But what was this war representing?

Spiritually it was a battle for the mind. The question that was to be settled by this war was this:

Is homosexuality a crime or is it not a crime?

Physically they slugged it out, but the law of the Lord should have given a ready answer. We read in Leviticus 18:22,

Leviticus 18:22
Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.

God condemns homosexuality as a crime against God. And if we search a little more we find in:

Leviticus 20:13
If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.

It means that the act of homosexuality is so abhorrent to God that He demands that both partners must be condemned to death.

With such a penalty would homosexuality ever be a problem in the nation of Israel?

And yet, people try to be more merciful than God. Since the penalty was not carried out, the problem of sodomites existed throughout the life of the nation of Israel, and it continued to plague the church even in the New Testament time, for we read in Romans 1:24-27

Romans 1:24
Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:

Romans 1:25
Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.

Romans 1:26
For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:

Romans 1:27
And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.

And so, rather than dig into the historical details, we should see the spiritual meaning of this war. It

means that near the end of time the church will fight the church, and there will be no winners, only losers

Judges 20:47
But six hundred men turned and fled to the wilderness unto the rock Rimmon, and abode in the rock Rimmon four months.

Judges 20:48
And the men of Israel turned again upon the children of Benjamin, and smote them with the edge of the sword, as well the men of every city, as the beast, and all that came to hand: also they set on fire all the cities that they came to.

So, here are 600 men of the tribe of Benjamin on the Rock Rimmon. That was all that was left of Benjamin. Now we should see this part in Judges 21 as a separate story, for this is a chapter where the children of Benjamin received grace and mercy. The name Benjamin means “Son of my right hand”. They sought refuge in the Rock Rimmon where the Rock was pointing to the Lord Jesus Christ.

There Is Hope for Some (Genesis 19:27-29)

There was hope for the old man and his daughter in the city of Gibeah, for she represented the few who remain in a faithful church all the way to the end of time. There was hope for the 600 Benjamites who were seeking refuge in the Rock Rimmon. There was hope for Lot, because Abraham interceded for him. We read in Genesis 19:27,

Genesis 19:27
And Abraham gat up early in the morning to the place where he stood before the LORD:

Genesis 19:28
And he looked toward Sodom and Gomorrah, and toward all the land of the plain, and beheld, and, lo, the smoke of the country went up as the smoke of a furnace.

Genesis 19:29
And it came to pass, when God destroyed the cities of the plain, that God remembered Abraham, and sent Lot out of the midst of the overthrow, when he overthrew the cities in the which Lot dwelt.

“God remembered Abraham, and sent Lot out of the midst of the overthrow.” In other words, God showed His kindness to Abraham by rescuing Lot. And so, if we receive mercy and grace from the Lord, remember that someone prayed for us in the past.

Is Homosexuality a Disease? (Leviticus 18:22, Leviticus 20:13, Romans 1:26-27, 1 Corinthians 6:9-11)

The real question is:

Is homosexuality something that we are born with?

When we consult the Bible, we find condemnations of homosexuality like in Leviticus 18:22, and in Leviticus 20:13. And when we read Romans 1:26-27 we see again that God does not like homosexuals. We read in Romans 1:26-27,

Romans 1:26
For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:

Romans 1:27
And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.

But if we are predisposed to homosexuality, if we are born with this problem, how can God be so hard on us? Today’s medical profession says that homosexuality is something that you are born with.

But listen also to what God says. God says in 1 Corinthians 6:9-11

1 Corinthians 6:9
Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind (= homosexuals),

1 Corinthians 6:10
Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.

1 Corinthians 6:11
And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.

God says in verse 11, “And such were some of you”, past tense. In other words, if you were homosexuals in the past, be assured that when you have been washed from your sins you are no longer homosexuals. You are cured. The same thing applies to alcoholics, or drunkards. The medical profession says, once an alcoholic you stay an alcoholic for the rest of your life. But God says, “And such were some of you”, past tense. In other words the medical profession gives us no hope, and according to the Bible, the prospect of Hell for sure. But the Bible paints us a totally different picture. Homosexuals are not born, they are made by being exposed to the sexual act. Do not believe what MD’s say. Rather believe what God says.

People become homosexuals because they have been exposed to the excitement of it.

People become alcoholics because they have been exposed to the excitement of it.

People become drug addicts because they have been exposed to the excitement of it.

People become addicted to fornication because they have been exposed to the excitement of it.

But God chose the sign of homosexuality to indicate that the end is near. It is also the sign that the church is being attacked by Satan. Men’s wisdom is placed at a higher rank than God’s wisdom. And so, when we hear that the President of the United States is going to elevate the month of June as a month where the gay community is going to be honored, we rejoice. We rejoice, because the Lord is coming soon. We rejoice, because we will be entering into our new glorified bodies.

Amen.

By Alfred J. Chompff

AN UNNAMED WOMAN


In our previous study of Judges 19-21 we have seen that Judges 19 shows great resemblance to Genesis 19. But since Genesis 19 is a series of pictures of end time events, we must relate Judges 19, 20, and 21 also to end time events. These are difficult chapters to preach from. I am still struggling to work my way through this, and you must excuse me if I make small corrections on things I have said last week. Today we will see great similarities between the concubine of Judges 19 and Lot’s wife in Genesis 19. The first thing we notice is that both women have no name. And thus the title of this article is, “An Unnamed Woman”. Let us again begin at verse 1 and work our way through more carefully.

The Levite from Ephraim, “Doubly Fruitful” (Judges 19:1, Ephesians 1:3-5, Colossians 1:15, Psalm 58:3, Romans 8:1-2, 1 Samuel 2:8, Genesis 15:1, Proverbs 25:2, Ephesians 1:6-8, Leviticus 17:11)

Judges 19:1
And it came to pass in those days, when there was no king in Israel, that there was a certain Levite sojourning on the side of mount Ephraim, who took to him a concubine out of Bethlehemjudah.

We found last week that this certain Levite represented the Lord Jesus Christ, and He was dwelling on the far side of mount Ephraim. The far side with reference to Bethlehem and Jerusalem would be the north side. The name Ephraim means “Doubly Fruitful”.

This does not mean that the Lord Jesus Christ will bestow on every saint twice as much material wealth as He does to every unsaved person, but it does indicate a double inheritance of spiritual goods for everyone who belongs to Christ.

What is that double inheritance?

Everyone who is found “in Christ” also bears His name.

Who are those who are “in Christ”?

Ephesians 1:3-5 tells us that they are those who were chosen by the Father to inherit eternal life, through the cross of Christ. Christ is called the Firstborn of every creature, according to Col 1:15, which does not refer to every creature in the absolute sense, but only to those creatures who will survive the ball of fire on the last day. And since He is called the Firstborn we are also called firstborn. But as firstborn we have the right to a double inheritance, which we indeed receive. First we receive God’s MERCY. The definition of mercy is that God is withholding what we do deserve. You can check the dictionary on this definition. From the day that we were born we sinned against God, according to Psalm 58:3, and thus the longer we live the deeper the hole we dig for ourselves in Hell. We deserve to go to Hell for our sins. And thus, if God is merciful to us He withholds that penalty of Hell from us. That is the gift of mercy. But that is only half of the inheritance we will receive. That takes us only from minus infinity to ground zero. It is already a great blessing if we do not have to pay the penalty for our sins. It means we do not have to suffer for having slapped God in the face, for Christ paid that penalty on behalf of us on the cross, according to Romans 8:1-2. But now God gives us the second half of the inheritance, and that is GRACE. The definition of grace is that God is giving us what we do not deserve. Again, you can check the dictionary on this definition. We do not deserve eternal life in the NH&NE. But this is what God gives us as the second part of our inheritance. According to 1 Samuel 2:8 God will take us from ground zero, from being the beggar on the dunghill, and God will elevate us to being sons of God, and making us inherit the throne (singular) of glory, where the throne is really His throne. God confirms this truth in Genesis 15:1, where God says, “I am thy shield and thy exceeding great reward.”

And thus if we summarize the concept of “Mercy”, we would say it is “Unmerited Pardon”, whereas if we summarize the concept of “Grace”, we would say it is “Unmerited Favor”. I am giving you all these references, because God says in Proverbs 25:2, “It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honor of kings is to search out a matter.” And thus all of you have not only the honor, but the duty to search out if my statements are correct. And thus we read in Ephesians 1:6-8 that we receive this double inheritance because Christ paid for it through His blood, that is through His life, according to Leviticus 17:11. Let us now return to Judges 19:1 and look at the concubine which the Levite chose for Himself.

The Concubine from Bethlehemjudah (Judges 19:1, Ephesians 1:22-23, 2 Timothy 2:19-21)

Judges 19:1
And it came to pass in those days, when there was no king in Israel, that there was a certain Levite sojourning on the side of mount Ephraim, who took to him a concubine out of Bethlehemjudah.

The Levite, the Lord Jesus Christ, took to Him a concubine out of Bethlehemjudah.

Was Christ doing something illegal here?

No! The Hebrew Interlinear explains that there are two Hebrew words left out of this verse. The Masoretic Text says, “Who took to himself a wife, a concubine out of Bethlehemjudah”. In other words, Christ took to Himself a wife, which was someone else’s concubine.

Whose concubine was she?

She was Satan’s concubine, for Satan used her because she was unsaved. But notice that God throughout this chapter speaks of her as a concubine. In other words, she remained the unsaved concubine, even after Christ chose her to be His wife. We could point to the Old Testament nation of Israel which was called the wife of Jehovah, until the cross, and we know that the nation of Israel remained for the most part still unsaved. But this story must relate to end time events, and therefore the concubine cannot refer to the nation of Israel, for Christ divorced Israel at the cross, and thus the nation of Israel does not play a dominant role at the return of Christ.

Who then does the concubine represent?

The concubine represents the church, but it is the unfaithful church, for later in this chapter she will be destroyed.

Is it certain that she represents the church?

It is certain!

Before Christ chose her she was residing in Bethlehemjudah, which is the House of Bread in Judah; in other words it is the household of the bread of life that is in Judah, which points unmistakably to the church of Christ. Christ chose her out of that church to follow Him, to evangelize the world, and that is why He chose her.

But does Christ not know that she is still unsaved?

Let us consider this. At the incarnation the man Christ Jesus and God the Son were united into one person, and thus the Lord Jesus Christ knows all things. We read in Ephesians 1:22-23,

Ephesians 1:22
And (God) hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church,

Ephesians 1:23
Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.

In other words, Christ has been appointed as the head of the church, and the church is called the body of Christ. But when we talk about the church, we should understand that not everyone in the church is a saved individual. A casual reading of the seven churches of Revelation 2 and 3 quickly tells us that not everyone that calls themselves Christians do really belong to Christ. Only two of the seven churches turn out to be faithful churches, and five out of the seven churches are apostate to some degree. And this was already at the end of the first century after the cross. Today the fraction of faithful churches must be much smaller. It means that in those five churches of Revelation 2 and 3 there is a mixture of saved and unsaved individuals, just like it was in the Old Testament congregation.

Does He who is the head of the church not know who are saved and who are unsaved individuals?

We read in 2 Timothy 2:19-21,

2 Timothy 2:19
Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.

2 Timothy 2:20
But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honour, and some to dishonour.

2 Timothy 2:21
If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work.

Here are some principles to keep in mind:

1. Christ knows them that are His.

2. Each church has vessels unto honor and vessels unto dishonor, referring to saved and unsaved individuals.

3. In order to be prepared unto every good work, each one individually must purge himself from these vessels unto dishonor, so that we are no longer unequally yoked with unbelievers. And since Christ chose all the members of His church, like He did when He chose the members of His apostolic band, so Christ chose the elect and the non-elect of His church.

Let us now apply this in Judges 19:1. When Christ, the Levite, chose to Him a wife, a concubine out of Bethlehemjudah, He knew that she would remain unsaved. He knew that the rigors of the work of evangelism would be too much for her to bear, and that she would perish in the process. But the purpose for which Christ chose her was to show to us what would become of the church near the end of the world.

Spiritually Dead for Four Months (Judges 19:2)

So far we have covered only one verse because we first carefully have to set the stage before we can continue to unravel this historical parable. We read in Judges 19:2,

Judges 19:2
And his concubine played the whore against him, and went away from him unto her father’s house to Bethlehemjudah, and was there four whole months.

This is a rather liberal translation. The words “And was there four whole months” are not at all in the Bible. The Hebrew Masoretic Text says, “And was there dead four months”. In other words, she was there, in Bethlehemjudah, spiritually dead for four months. The word “dead” has been mistranslated, because the translators did not know what to do with it. But in the spiritual sense it is perfectly logical that we call this concubine “dead” if she is engaging in sinful activities, for then she is dead in trespasses and sins. Here is another proof that we must treat this story as a historical parable. This woman was not physically dead, but spiritually dead. The Levite’s concubine, consisting of unsaved people who were called to serve Christ in works of evangelism, could not remain faithful in their work, and they resorted to spiritual harlotry. For example, they went back to their old way of drinking hard liquor during times when they needed to be sober, or they engaged in fornication instead of brotherly love, or they were stealing from the people whom they were supposed to serve, and so on. And so, they realized that their service for Christ was a farce, and they returned to the place where they came from. Perhaps the church at Bethlehemjudah made it easier for them to hide among the masses, and she was there four months.

What is the meaning of these four months?

The number “four” indicates universality. In other words, this place, Bethlehemjudah, does not refer to a single place there near Jerusalem, but it refers to a condition of apostacy worldwide. The worldwide church became a place where mostly unsaved people mingled and went through the motions of playing church. But they were not evangelizing the Gospel, for only when Christ, the Levite, called them would they be following Christ. This becomes a condition of the church worldwide, and as a result very few people are being saved. Secondly, the time period of this apostate condition is only four months, thereby indicating that this shameful period of time is a relatively short compared to the long history of the church. Nevertheless, it is a time when people have drawn away from the true Christ. It is a time when their first love for God and for Christ has given way to going through the motions. But being busy for Christ does not mean that we love Him, or that we are focusing on the things that Christ likes to be done. The things that are pleasing in the sight of God, such as Bible study and prayer, are left undone in an apostate church. Let us go on to the next verse in this chapter.

The Father in Law (Judges 19:2-9)

Judges 19:3
And her husband arose, and went after her, to speak friendly unto her, and to bring her again, having his servant with him, and a couple of asses: and she brought him into her father’s house: and when the father of the damsel saw him, he rejoiced to meet him.

Here we have to make one more correction on the translation. The “servant” that the Levite brought with Him was not a servant, but a “young man.” This is a word which frequently occurs in the Bible. It occurs 238 times in the Old Testament, and overwhelmingly it has been translated “young man”.

Why did the Levite bring the young man?

The concubine was a young woman.

Was it perhaps to indicate that the work of evangelizing for Christ would be carried out by a team?

We do not know exactly, for the young man does not play a big role in this story. But the purpose of the Levite was a mission of mercy. He went after her “to speak friendly unto her, and to bring her again.” He was going to reinstate her into her former position. Christ came to gather His church by visiting her at her father’s house. And this He did even though He knew that she would remain unsaved, but that the work of evangelism might not disappear. “And she brought Him into her father’s house.”

What was her father’s house?

The church, symbolized by the name Bethlehemjudah was her father’s house, according to Judg 19:2. And thus the minister in charge of that apostate church was the father of the concubine and the father in law of the Levite. But the minister does not recognize Him as Christ, but as a fellow minister. And so they get along.

Judges 19:4
And his father in law, the damsel’s father, retained him; and he abode with him three days: so they did eat and drink, and lodged there.

Judges 19:5
And it came to pass on the fourth day, when they arose early in the morning, that he rose up to depart: and the damsel’s father said unto his son in law, Comfort thine heart with a morsel of bread, and afterward go your way.

Judges 19:6
And they sat down, and did eat and drink both of them together: for the damsel’s father had said unto the man, Be content, I pray thee, and tarry all night, and let thine heart be merry.

Judges 19:7
And when the man rose up to depart, his father in law urged him: therefore he lodged there again.

Judges 19:8
And he arose early in the morning on the fifth day to depart: and the damsel’s father said, Comfort thine heart, I pray thee. And they tarried until afternoon, and they did eat both of them.

Judges 19:9
And when the man rose up to depart, he, and his concubine, and his servant, his father in law, the damsel’s father, said unto him, Behold, now the day draweth toward evening, I pray you tarry all night: behold, the day groweth to an end, lodge here, that thine heart may be merry; and to morrow get you early on your way, that thou mayest go home.

What do we see in this passage?

We see that the Levite lets the third day come and go without emphasizing that it was a special day. Three days would refer to the process of the atonement of Christ on the cross. But the Levite allows the third day to go as easy as the fourth day. In this we can see that forgiveness of sins is not Christ’s purpose in this parable.

A Short Journey (Judges 19:10-15, Luke 4:24, Judges 19:14-25, Genesis 19:1-11)

Let us now look at the short journey of the Levite, the young man, the young woman, and the two donkeys. We read in Judges 19:10-15,

Judges 19:10
But the man would not tarry that night, but he rose up and departed, and came over against Jebus, which is Jerusalem; and there were with him two asses saddled, his concubine also was with him.

Judges 19:11
And when they were by Jebus, the day was far spent; and the servant said unto his master, Come, I pray thee, and let us turn in into this city of the Jebusites, and lodge in it.

Judges 19:12
And his master said unto him, We will not turn aside hither into the city of a stranger, that is not of the children of Israel; we will pass over to Gibeah.

Judges 19:13
And he said unto his servant, Come, and let us draw near to one of these places to lodge all night, in Gibeah, or in Ramah.

Judges 19:14
And they passed on and went their way; and the sun went down upon them when they were by Gibeah, which belongeth to Benjamin.

Judges 19:15
And they turned aside thither, to go in and to lodge in Gibeah: and when he went in, he sat him down in a street of the city: for there was no man that took them into his house to lodging.

They left Bethlehemjudah late in the afternoon, and came over against Jerusalem, but the Levite did not want to stay in a city of strangers. He would have been better treated in this city of foreigners than in a city of his own nation. The Lord Jesus said in Luke 4:24, “Verily I say unto you, No prophet is accepted in his own country.”

He most likely gets a better reception in a foreign country than in His own country. And so, they went on until they came to Gibeah, of the tribe of Benjamin. Interestingly, Gibeah was also the birthplace of Saul, the first king in Israel, whereas David was born in Bethlehem. But since Saul relentlessly persecuted David, and since David was a type of Christ, the battle between Saul and David was a picture of the battle between Satan and Christ, where Satan tries to destroy Christ. But now the Levite and His company are entering Gibeah, of Benjamin. And here in the story from Judges 19:14-25, the storyline runs parallel to that in Genesis 19:1-11. Let us briefly summarize what similarities we found last week between those two passages. In both cases the visitors planned to spend the night in the street. In both cases an old man convinced them that they should come into his house. In both cases the old man made them a feast. In both cases their feast was interrupted by men banging on the front door. In both cases the men were homosexuals who wanted to rape the visitors. In both cases the old man went out to talk to these men. In both cases the old man offered the homosexuals two women, either Lot’s two daughters or the old man’s daughter and the Levite’s concubine. In both cases the homosexuals were struck with blindness, physical blindness in Sodom and spiritual blindness in Gibeah, for the homosexual men of Gibeah raped a woman instead of a man. And from here the two stories again diverge. Lot went to talk to his sons in law. Apparently Lot had at least two more daughters who were already married with men of Sodom, and Lot tries to tell them that the end of the world has come for the city of Sodom, and they need to flee. But he seemed as one who was joking. This is also the response we get if we say to people around us that the end of the world is near; they think that we are joking.

We are now going to switch over to Genesis 19 and follow the story of Lot’s wife.

Almost Saved (Genesis 19:15-26)

Genesis 19:15
And when the morning arose, then the angels hastened Lot, saying, Arise, take thy wife and thy two daughters, which are here; lest thou be consumed in the iniquity of the city.

Genesis 19:16
And while he lingered, the men laid hold upon his hand, and upon the hand of his wife, and upon the hand of his two daughters; the LORD being merciful unto him: and they brought him forth, and set him without the city.

Genesis 19:17
And it came to pass, when they had brought them forth abroad, that he said, Escape for thy life; look not behind thee, neither stay thou in all the plain; escape to the mountain, lest thou be consumed.

Genesis 19:18
And Lot said unto them, Oh, not so, my Lord:

Genesis 19:19
Behold now, thy servant hath found grace in thy sight, and thou hast magnified thy mercy, which thou hast shewed unto me in saving my life; and I cannot escape to the mountain, lest some evil take me, and I die:

Genesis 19:20
Behold now, this city is near to flee unto, and it is a little one: Oh, let me escape thither, (is it not a little one?) and my soul shall live.

Genesis 19:21
And he said unto him, See, I have accepted thee concerning this thing also, that I will not overthrow this city, for the which thou hast spoken.

Genesis 19:22
Haste thee, escape thither; for I cannot do any thing till thou be come thither. Therefore the name of the city was called Zoar.

Genesis 19:23
The sun was risen upon the earth when Lot entered into Zoar.

Genesis 19:24
Then the LORD rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the LORD out of heaven;

Genesis 19:25
And he overthrew those cities, and all the plain, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and that which grew upon the ground.

Genesis 19:26
But his wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt.

Lot's wife did not enter into the picture until the angels grabbed her hand in verse 16. She did not even enter the picture when dinner was prepared in verse 3. She seemed to agree and went along with all the decisions that were made. She went along when the angels grabbed her hand and brought her outside the city. She went along with the decision to go to Zoar, instead of going all the way to the mountain. But then we read in Genesis 19:26 this BIG warning: “But his wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt.” There are a number of questions we can ask at this point.

Why did she turn into a pillar of salt?

Well, this verse says that she disobeyed God's commandment, and that is why she came under the judgment of God.

Is that really the reason?

And why salt. I have heard many preachers comment on Jesus words when He said: "Ye are the salt of the earth".

They say that salt is good and pleasant, and that salt is a preservative, and that salt enhances the flavor of whatever is being preserved. Well, you can scrap that idea. From Genesis 19:26 we can conclude that salt represents the judgment of God.

Why did God zap her for such a minor infraction?

All she did was one last look at the place where she lived for 23 years. Through all the commotion she may not have heard God's command not to look back.

Why was this so bad?

Was God unfair?

Was God too strict?

Why did she disobey God's commandment in the first place?

Was she curious about the noise of fire and brimstone raining on Sodom?

No!

There was no noise. She was walking behind Lot, on the way to Zoar, and the fire from God did not come until they would safely arrive in Zoar. Her daughters probably saw their mother being transformed in an instant, and this was a reminder to her daughters that God means what He says.

Did Lot's wife assume that she was already safe and in the favor of God her Father, and now she could risk being just a little disobedient?

Surely, God would not mind just a little deviation from what He said. Our God is merciful. God will forgive.

Is this not how people live these days?

Just a little white lie, just a little exaggeration to drive home the point, just a little gossip, just one pen that I take home from my employer, just one floppy disk that I take home from my employer. It does not hurt anyone. God would not mind. It is for a good purpose. Have we not all committed such apparently little sins? Never assume that you have this liberty and that you are safe and secure.

Just a little deviation from what God has said in His Word would not hurt, does it?

Do we always have to be 100% correct when we explain His Word?

And so, you may hear from well meaning Bible teachers that Lot's wife came under the judgment of God because she refused to leave Sodom.

That is a big fat lie!

Genesis 19:16 says that Lot lingered. Lot was reluctant to leave Sodom, and not a word was said that his wife was reluctant to leave Sodom. His wife went along with everything that was said and done. Her first action in this story came in verse 26.

Was she destined to be rescued with Lot and her two daughters, and did she turn her destiny around by looking back?

Is it possible that she changed the plans of God?

Think about it: Can the creature change what God the creator has determined in the first place?

No!

Was Lot's wife saved, and on the way to safety she ruined her relationship with God and then she became unsaved?

No, that is absolutely not possible. When God saves us, He saves our soul, and He gives us eternal life, which means life without end. We are not able to undo what God has done in our soul. Lot's wife was very close to being saved, but her actions showed that she was never saved to begin with. God knew her heart, and God knew that she could not resist the temptation to look back. God never planned to save her, and God never planned to rescue her from the wrath of God that was coming on Sodom. God planned the future and God knows the future. If God would not know the future He would not be God. It is significant that Lot's wife did not carry a name. This means that God is using Lot's wife as representing a religious group of people. God used Lot's wife as a picture of people who think that they are saved, but they are not. Lot's wife heard the same Gospel that Lot heard. She lived in the same household as Lot did. She heard Lot speak about Jehovah every day. Just like there are people who attend a faithful church every week, and they live in a Godly home every day, and they hear God glorifying music every day, and they pray before their meals every day, but they are not saved, and they do not know that they are not saved.

What is going on?

Not only have they been deaf and blind to the principles of the Gospel, but also they are unwilling to submit themselves to the authority of the Word of God. God's Holy Spirit has not made their hearts willing. But their judgment will be greater than for those who never heard the Gospel. All this flows from the simple statement of Genesis 19:26, “But his wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt.”

Can we find in the Bible what went really on in her heart?

Genesis 19:26 does not really tell us what went on in her heart.


What Was in Her Heart? (Luke 17:31-32, Romans 5:5)

The Lord Jesus tells us to look at Lot's wife and learn a lesson from that event. Jesus makes it a BIG deal when He stresses: "Remember Lot's wife". Of course it is a BIG deal, because it is a matter of life and death. Let us look carefully at the words of Luke 17:31-32,

Luke 17:31
In that day, he which shall be upon the housetop, and his goods in the house, let him not come down to take it away: and he that is in the field, let him likewise not return back to the things behind.

Luke 17:32
Remember Lot's wife.

At the end of verse 31 you should add four words: "to the things behind". These four words are present in the Greek text. Both the Textus Receptus of 1611 has it, as well as the more modern Greek texts, such as the Revised Version of 1881. The KJV translators have omitted these four words as if they were redundant, but in our day these four words are crucial to the understanding of this verse.

Verse 31 begins with "In that day".

What day is this?

It is comparable to the day that Lot, his wife and his two daughters were led out of Sodom on the way to safety, which was actually a picture of the day of the rapture of the believers out of this world on the Last Day. Verse 30 says it is "the day when the Son of man is revealed".

Is Jesus saying: "On that day, when you are led to safety, do not look back like Lot's wife did"?

Certainly, the Lord Jesus is not saying that. We know, because the Bible says that on that day we shall be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. The next moment we will be with Christ forever. There is no long road to the mountain that we have to travel.

What then does Jesus have in view when He warns us in verse 31?

Luke 17:31
“In that day, he which shall be upon the housetop, and his goods in the house, let him not come down to take it away: and he that is in the field, let him likewise not return back to the things behind.”

What is the focus of verse 31?

The focus is the desire for material things. Jesus is not warning us for the desire of material things on that last day, but on everyday of our life. We must be saved in this life. When the Last Day comes, it will be too late for salvation. Christ must be number one in our life. If Christ is not number one in our life, then covetousness, or the desire for material things will take the place of Christ, and that is why God says that covetousness is identical to idolatry.

What did Lot's wife long for?

She could not let go of what was in her house. She longed for the material things she left behind in Sodom, because the love of God was not in her heart. We do not learn that from Genesis 19, but we do learn that from Luke 17:31. The focus of verse 31 is a warning not to be attached to the material things in our house, or the material things of this world. Don't become attached to it in this life, and don't feel sorry if it will be destroyed. It will all go up in smoke.

And how does Lot’s wife remind us of the concubine in Judges 19?

In fact, both women represent the same persons. Both women have no name. Each of these women represent churches full of people. And both in Genesis 19 as well as in Judges 19 these are people who are still unsaved. They have heard the Gospel many times, but they have remained unsaved. God the Holy Spirit has not accompanied the Gospel message when they heard them. And so, they know the technicalities of salvation. They know the requirement that we must be born again, but they do not know what it means, for they have never experienced the new birth. And so it is with many who are in churches today. Even in our church there will be people who have never experienced the new birth. They have come so very close to being saved but they are not saved. Like Lot’s wife they will come very close to being raptured, but they will not make it, because somehow the love of God has not been shed abroad into their heart by the Holy Ghost (Romans 5:5). Let us pray for the wisdom that comes from above, and let us pray that this wisdom leads unto salvation for everyone who is here, old and young.

AMEN.

By Alfred J. Chompff